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  #31  
Old 08-15-2012, 02:52 AM
mercury mercury is offline
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Just to continue the story I told above. Even though I found out about the guy being in a polyamorous relationship just before our first date (because I discovered it, not because he told me), I still feel that he was a little bit deceptive in the way he behaved at first, in order to reel me in. (Maybe deceptive is not the word, but more like, used rhetoric in such a way that gave me a different perception than what was actually the case).

1) When I first asked him about his involvement with her, he said "Yeah, we're dating."

"We're dating" sounds a lot more casual than "she's my girlfriend" or "we're committed to this polyamory thing and as much as you might mean to me, she's the one I'm sticking with no matter what."

2) On our second date, he said, "I don't know what's going to happen in the future. She and I have an understanding that we might both meet people and branch off into traditional relationships."

This changed as soon as we had sex.

3) Also on the second date, when I asked why they didn't just break up when she was pushing for an open relationship and he didn't want it (at first), he said, "Well, we still care about each other." He was careful not to say "We still love each other."

Just those three things, really. But my point is, men are often going to downplay how committed they are to their girlfriend in order to reel you in. They know good and darn well that if a single new-to-poly woman hears, initially, how much he loves his girlfriend, how she is in fact a girlfriend and not just someone he's 'dating,' how he will never leave her no matter what, the woman isn't going to bite. So the way I see it, these men know exactly what they're doing. They're using words strategically -- not necessarily lying -- but using words in such a way that you don't know how much they're committed to their girlfriends. And this does not mean the single woman should be hoping for a guy who is uncommitted to his girlfriend. After all, if she's interested or open to poly, she shouldn't be secretly hoping for the primary couple's break-up. But if the guy uses words in such a way that he doesn't sound OVERLY committed to his primary (and he does, because he wants to reel the single woman in), the single woman is happy, she believes she has a chance of mattering to him just as much as the primary woman. The reality, unfortunately, is that that is often not the case. The primary woman matters more, and this will come out as the single/secondary woman gets involved. She just won't know it at first because the guy's been clever about how he words things and how he presents himself and the situation.

The guy I *was* involved with, I actually found out a little about him recently. I heard through the grapevine that he was courting a woman online, and that she was open to meeting him, but that as soon as she found out he was in an open relationship (through another friend, not the guy himself), she opted out. The reason she didn't know in the first place is that it doesn't say "open relationship" until the *last* paragraph of his profile (and there are a good 7 or 8 paragraphs/sections in his profile. And he apparently didn't mention it in his email exchanges.

Like I said, attempting to reel people in.

Just be honest.

Last edited by mercury; 08-15-2012 at 02:54 AM.
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  #32  
Old 08-15-2012, 08:05 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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See, so many good anecdotes supporting this...

If poly is about being open and honest, then how can you expect to find a good, solid poly relationship if you are not completely open and honest from the get-go?

If you manipulate folks with your "marketing strategy", then don't be surprised if you get manipulated back.
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  #33  
Old 08-16-2012, 10:44 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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Wolfwood,

Just skimmed more heavily in this thread. The thing about your situation is that you're not polyamorous. You're just looking for friends with benefits, and your girlfriend is okay with it. I don't have any beef with what you do, especially if your girlfriend is okay with it. It's just super lame to be calling yourself polyamorous when you're not. AMOROUS means love, you know. Sure, you're open to love happening if it happens to happen. But I definitely get the sense that you're looking for lots of sexual play that is fairly meaningless, and having a meaningful relationship may just be an incidental occurrence. I don't mean to condemn just you, but it's true that what you're doing is a huge cliche. That is, being a guy who wants to get sex from women and have those women not mean much to you. And then calling yourself "polyamorous." That's a crock. Sorry, but it is. If you were polyamorous, you'd not have casual sexual relationships; you'd have meaningful, deep love relationships, and your girlfriend would be okay with it. And if casual sexual relationships presented themselves as an opportunity to you, you wouldn't be interested. But you're very interested. You and your girlfriend are in an open relationship; you're not polyamorous.

That being said, there are a lot of couples like you who call themselves poly but who are really just in open relationships -- that is, open to have sex with other people without those sexual liaisons meaning very much.

I just don't like people dressing it up as polyamory when it's casual sex.
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  #34  
Old 08-16-2012, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury View Post
If you were polyamorous, you'd not have casual sexual relationships; you'd have meaningful, deep love relationships, and your girlfriend would be okay with it. And if casual sexual relationships presented themselves as an opportunity to you, you wouldn't be interested.
Uh-oh! Throwing a poly rulebook at the OP?

To say that poly peeps wouldn't have, or even be interested in, casual sexual liaisons is not only judgmental, but inaccurate and misleading, too. Ever hear the phrase, "my poly is not your poly?" While what you say may be true about the OP, it may not be. Just NSA sex hook-ups are not poly -- I'm not disagreeing with you there -- but it certainly isn't a rule that if you are poly then you wouldn't even be interested in casual sexual relationships. (!) Casual relationships that seem very focused on sex can be loving; and many people find sex as the best way to start a loving relationship, with friendship and any "serious" commitments coming later. It all depends on how one defines love, relationships, and casual too, for that matter.

Good discussion on the topic: Casual Sex - Discussion
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Last edited by nycindie; 08-16-2012 at 11:08 PM.
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  #35  
Old 08-17-2012, 12:02 AM
mercury mercury is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Uh-oh! Throwing a poly rulebook at the OP?

To say that poly peeps wouldn't have, or even be interested in, casual sexual liaisons is not only judgmental, but inaccurate and misleading, too. Ever hear the phrase, "my poly is not your poly?" While what you say may be true about the OP, it may not be. Just NSA sex hook-ups are not poly -- I'm not disagreeing with you there -- but it certainly isn't a rule that if you are poly then you wouldn't even be interested in casual sexual relationships. (!) Casual relationships that seem very focused on sex can be loving; and many people find sex as the best way to start a loving relationship, with friendship and any "serious" commitments coming later. It all depends on how one defines love, relationships, and casual too, for that matter.

Good discussion on the topic: Casual Sex - Discussion
I'll agree with you that casual sexual relationships can be very loving. But if it truly is "very loving" (that is, not just affection, but actual LOVE), then it is no longer casual sex, is it? Then you love the person, or have feelings of love for the person, and you are then engaging in polyamory.

I think what you're saying is that casual relationships that are very focused on sex can be very respectful and considerate. And I agree that they can be. But if they are not actually loving, deep, and on par with one's primary relationship or very close to it, then they're not really polyamory.

I mean, there are lots of friends with benefits situations in which the people participating say, "But, I mean, it's respectful. We treat each other well, and he doesn't just throw me out when we finish having sex. We actually spend some time together. We go out to lunch. And we cuddle. But it's not serious between us. I have respect for him and him for me. But we don't love each other." That's an example of casual sex that is respectful, considerate, and even with affection. But if it's not love and not ever meant to become love, I don't call that polyamory. I call it friends with benefits. Really nice and affectionate friends with benefits, don't get me wrong, but FWB all the same.

Like you said, casual sex and FWB can turn into loving relationships. If they do, that's polyamory in practice. But if they never do, and/or that's what you mostly have for years and years, you're just in an open relationship; you're not quite polyamorous.

I mean, to give an example. There's a girl whose profile I've seen on OkCupid who says this: "Let's get this out of the way right off the bat. I'm engaged to be married. The date is 10/12/12. If you're looking for "the one," that is not me. If you can't handle polyamory, I can't handle you."

She's looking for other involvements, but I would hardly call her polyamorous. And what I'm saying is that, while that girl may be very in-your-face about her stance, and a little uncouth about it, to boot, a lot of poly people are just a more polite version of the same thing. i.e. "I've already got my "the one," but I'm looking for other involvements."

I repeat- polyAMORY - that is, LOVE. When you actually love your additional partners, you're polyamorous. As long as you don't, and/or as long as you're having casual sex with the distant possibility (but rarity) of it turning into love, you're in open relationship mode.

Last edited by mercury; 08-17-2012 at 12:14 AM.
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  #36  
Old 08-17-2012, 12:07 AM
mercury mercury is offline
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Oh, and what I mean by people not being open to casual sexual relationships if they're truly polyamorous is this. A person who's polyamorous WANTS many loves, meaning they seek it. They're disappointed when something is just casual. They don't seek casual sex and think (as an after thought) "it'd be cool if one of them turns to love." The former is a polyamorous person for whom many loves is the intent and the main approach. The latter is a casual sex seeker who thinks "love may or may not happen; it's all good; I'll get sex, at any rate."

Last edited by mercury; 08-17-2012 at 12:15 AM.
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  #37  
Old 08-17-2012, 12:12 AM
mercury mercury is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
To say that poly peeps wouldn't have, or even be interested in, casual sexual liaisons is not only judgmental, but inaccurate and misleading, too.
I don't have a beef with people enjoying or seeking casual sex. Hell, there have been times in my life that I've sought it. On more than one occasion. I'm not some "only meaningful relationships" person. But when I sought casual sex, I called it what it was. I didn't go around saying I was "polyamorous."

It's f---ing ridiculous.

It's not the concept of casual sex I have a beef with. I'm open to it myself, while I'm also open to serious relationships. (Prefer a serious relationship, but I wouldn't say no to some hottie who I connected with, for just one night, or if we ended up FWB). But I *don't* call it polyamory. Why? 'Cause I'd be tainting the word polyamory to call it that if I were looking for casual sex, or willing to have tons and tons of it on my journey toward love.

p.s. The OP *said* he was open to occasional FWB. I didn't hear anything about loving.

Last edited by mercury; 08-17-2012 at 12:22 AM.
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  #38  
Old 08-17-2012, 12:23 AM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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@mercury,

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Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
I see casual sex as a point in a continuum that ranges from anonymous, 'bodies-only' sex to utterly sacred, totally emotionally enmeshed sex. Both of those points exist but there is so much in-between! And it's not static, people move between points. People also choose to remain in a set geography. And relationships morph - many of us have experienced where a relationship changed in unexpected ways - from casual to more attached or from platonic to sexual. I've seen this in my relationship with SW which has changed from solely a FWB to something more involved and more attached for both of us. Ariakas' earlier post that some of his meaningful relationships started from a casual hookup is another example.
This is from the thread NYCindie noted early. Ethical non-monogamy is a continuum for me, not a either/or structure. The lines between poly, swinging, open, casual to throw a few terms around are not always obvious.

I finally figured out a metaphor that I think works for showing how poly, open, swinging and so on can be different but have the possibility to shade into each other in real life.

Ethical non-monogamy is like water. Water has different forms - ice, liquid water, gas (steam). Those forms do not look at all like each other but they are all water. They change from one to the other as physical conditions change - liguid water turns to ice as it freezes, or escape into gas as it boils. Ice dissolves into liguid as it warms. Relationships can be very much like this. They might remain in the form in which they were created. Or they might change over time such as from a FWB into something more committed like a primary relationship. Or a primary relationship can move away from that into something more open, more casual.

Other people experience and define poly and ethical non-monogamy very differently. You see it in very black and white terms. It is this and not that. And that works for you. But you don't have a monopoly on poly defining. The structure I describe above works well for me. It provides a useful model for understanding my life.
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  #39  
Old 08-17-2012, 12:36 AM
mercury mercury is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
@mercury,



This is from the thread NYCindie noted early. Ethical non-monogamy is a continuum for me, not a either/or structure. The lines between poly, swinging, open, casual to throw a few terms around are not always obvious.

I finally figured out a metaphor that I think works for showing how poly, open, swinging and so on can be different but have the possibility to shade into each other in real life.

Ethical non-monogamy is like water. Water has different forms - ice, liquid water, gas (steam). Those forms do not look at all like each other but they are all water. They change from one to the other as physical conditions change - liguid water turns to ice as it freezes, or escape into gas as it boils. Ice dissolves into liguid as it warms. Relationships can be very much like this. They might remain in the form in which they were created. Or they might change over time such as from a FWB into something more committed like a primary relationship. Or a primary relationship can move away from that into something more open, more casual.

Other people experience and define poly and ethical non-monogamy very differently. You see it in very black and white terms. It is this and not that. And that works for you. But you don't have a monopoly on poly defining. The structure I describe above works well for me. It provides a useful model for understanding my life.
I definitely get the "spectrum" and "fluidity" thing. I definitely understand that FWB and casual relationships may well evolve, over time, into something more. If you'll notice, I addressed the OP, who said he was looking for ways that he could interest single, new-to-poly secondaries into starting sexual relationships. That, to me, says he's looking for sexual relationships primarily and love/meaning only as an afterthought.

I'm not saying that he -- or other people like him -- won't fall for any of their partners who were originally casual, even if they didn't mean to. I'm saying he doesn't have the mindset or approach of a poly person. He's probably not completely un-poly. But he speaks much more with the rhetoric of a casual sex seeker.

Let me just give you an example. The poly guy I dated last year had gone on dates with about three women from OkCupid before he went out with me. He didn't feel connected with them enough to see them again or have sex with them, so he didn't. (It could be that they, too, weren't interested). When he met me, he felt attracted enough and wanted to see me again, and he soon wanted a relationship with me. So basically, he got involved only when he knew he wanted to love the person too, not just have sex with the person. That, to me, is a more poly way of being. If you don't agree, you don't agree. NyCindie asked me if I'd ever heard the phrase "My poly is not your poly." Sure I've heard it. As such, respect my poly, too. My poly is just as much not your poly as your poly is not mine, so don't make a big deal out of it. People here do that all the time. It's defensiveness. "Hey wait, don't say my casual sex isn't poly! Poly exists on a spectrum, and that spectrum includes casual sex that can turn into something more."

What I'm saying is...if 90% of the time it doesn't turn into something more, or doesn't last for more than a month, it isn't "my" poly. It may be YOUR poly, but it's not "My" poly.

Last edited by mercury; 08-17-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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  #40  
Old 08-17-2012, 12:51 AM
mercury mercury is offline
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I think many people on this board can't stand my definition of poly because it allows for less casualness and less preying on others. People don't want to be told they can't be casual or that they can't prey on others, so they insist their casualness and predatory ways are just as dignified as anything, that there's a "spectrum," that everybody's got their own poly. Everyone's got their own definition of murder, too, I guess? Like, if I kill someone, it's not murder because it could well be that in another life, I would really love that person I killed.

I have high standards for poly, though. True poly is, in my opinion, better than monogamy. True poly is beautiful, I think. But the way most people practice it is seedy, sordid, casual-sex-seeking-in-enlightenedness's clothing (on the part of some, not all), and irresponsible. If it's not those things, it's a bunch of catty jealousness.

It's "Look, I'm in a relationship that comes before all others. If you can't handle polyamory, I can't handle you."
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